Anesthesia For Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is a procedure that many people will require at some point in their lives. Whether it’s pulling a tooth, extracting impacted wisdom teeth, or more invasive procedures like reconstruction, most of us will find ourselves sitting in that chair for more than a routine check-up.

Many of the frequent questions we receive concern how they will be sedated during their operation. Will I be awake during the procedure? Will it hurt? Anxiety over oral surgery is completely normal and in this article, we’ll explore the different kinds of anesthesia used in oral surgery.

Types of sedation
Under most sedatives, you’ll remain somewhat conscious but many patients feel so relaxed and tranquil that they end up falling asleep during the procedure. Often times, they have no memory of the surgery at all. What type of sedation you’ll use depends on how invasive the procedure is.

Local anesthesia
Local anesthesia is a numbing medication that temporarily prevents the nerve fibers from sending signals to the brain. While using a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, patients remain fully awake and aware. However, the area around the injection point doesn’t feel any pain. It’s typically used during minimally invasive procedures, such as removing an erupted tooth. But, it’s also used alongside stronger forms of anesthesia for more invasive or complicated surgeries.

After a simple procedure using a local anesthetic, patients will feel numbness for several hours and won’t require precautions such as an escort to drive them home or fasting before the procedure.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a form of conscious sedation. It’s administered through a mask worn by the patient who then breaths in a steady combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. It is used with simple as well as more complicated procedures.

Patients feel relaxed and their anxiety is reduced. They may also control how much is administered by simply taking deeper and more frequent breaths. Within several minutes following the procedure, the effects will wear off and the patient will be able to drive themselves home. Another benefit is how little this method costs. There are typically no added expenses associated with nitrous oxide.

Oral medication
The oral medication method typically requires that patients take anti-anxiety pills such as Valium, Halcion, or Ativan, to achieve conscious sedation. This method is usually more effective at sedating patients than nitrous oxide and is also not costly to administer. Patients usually take the medication roughly an hour before the procedure.

One issue with this method is consistency. Some patients may react to unpredictably to the medication, i.e. taking longer to feel its effects, requiring stronger doses, etc. Patients will also require the help of a friend or family member to drive them to and from the office as they will feel very groggy afterward.

IV sedation
The intravenous (IV) sedation process involves administering medication through a vein. The medication is fast acting and is the most effective form of sedation for oral surgeries other than general anesthesia. Patients typically have no recollection of the operation. Like oral medication, patients will need assistance getting home and will feel groggy following the appointment.

General anesthesia
General anesthesia is used for patients who require more extensive surgical procedures such as facial and jaw reconstruction. It is typically administered orally and intravenously and patients will become fully unconscious and have no memory of the procedure.

Your Procedure
Every oral and maxillofacial surgeon receives training for all aspects of anesthesia administration, so patients don’t have anything to worry about. They can rest easy knowing their surgeon and staff are well-prepared professionals. And if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist or surgeon. They’re there to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

5 Oral Surgery Recovery Tips!

Oral surgery is any procedure where cutting or removing tissue in your mouth is involved. The most common types of oral surgeries are wisdom teeth removal, gum grafts and dental implants.

Recovery is typically very fast. However, we wanted to fill you in on five essential tips to making it the easiest recovery possible.

  1. Rest! Use this to your advantage, and get some sleep! Let your body recover quickly by taking it easy. Especially the day of and after surgery. To avoid as much swelling as possible – use a pillow to prop your head!
  2. Do not smoke (ever) but at the very least until you are healed! Smoking puts you at a greater risk for infection or complication as it lengthens your recovery.
  3. Ice is your friend! Keep an ice pack handy and apply it to your face throughout the first day. Ice reduces inflammation so we recommend you ice on and off for 15 minutes at a time.
  4. Don’t skip on your meds! It’s very important to stay on top of your recommended pain medications. Take them as directed and don’t forget. Getting behind might be something you end up regretting as they should keep pain very minimal.
  5. Don’t eat seeds or berries! This is a funny sounding one but it’s important. Eat smooth foods. If you’re making a smoothie don’t use berries. Little tiny seeds can get stuck in your incision sites and that’s never fun.

Of course, there is a whole list of post operative instructions we will give you when you visit us. We hope these tips help!

Impacted Teeth

Impacted Teeth

When you think of impacted teeth you often assume the very common “wisdom teeth”. However, there is another less common but still common impacted problem that can occur with teeth. The impacted upper canines. Oral surgeons have a simple solution to this: EXPOSE AND BOND! 

While wisdom teeth have little to no function and can be extracted without loss of function for the patient, upper canines are vital for chewing, smiling, and closing the upper jaw properly over the lower jaw. For these reasons, an orthodontist will often refer a patient to an oral surgeon to help with this process. When you are referred to Aspire Surgical for this procedure we like to see you for a consultation before you schedule surgery. We ask that when you call to schedule a consultation that you have your dental insurance information handy so we can give you a quote based on your coverage. We also ask that you bring an x ray or have your dentist or orthodontist email us your most recent panoramic x ray. If you need a new one taken, we can do that for you too! 

Once you meet our team and your doctor here at Aspire, we are sure you’ll be feeling much less anxious about the whole experience. From there we will schedule you for your surgery. On the day of surgery we will have you sedated with an IV to give you the best experience possible. 

What happens next: the hiding tooth is surgically exposed and a bracket is placed. Any gum tissue that was cut is restored and you will be feeling just fine in a day or so. Soon after surgery, the patient sees their orthodontist to have the chain attached from the new bracket to the braces.

The procedure is very straightforward and quick with minimal pain when done correctly but the process of the tooth fitting into position can be slow. It could take a year or so before everything is perfect as far as tooth position goes.  This process is multiple steps, includes a surgery that we recommend sedation for and a back and forth from both doctors. However, teamwork makes the dream work and we at Aspire are happy to help expose a natural tooth for a young patient that will be showing off their perfect smile for years to come.

If you have any questions about this procedure give us a call or write us on social media! We’d love to help you!